The Cost of Rehab

There are many aspects of addiction that can prevent someone from seeking recovery, but a common justification is often the cost of rehab.

Aspects Affecting the Cost of Rehab

The cost of substance abuse to the US is more than $600 billion each year; effective addiction treatment helps reduce these costs. Over 14,500 drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers in the US offer services including intervention, counseling, and medication. Yet, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, only 10% of the 22.7 million people suffering from a substance use disorder receive treatment for their addiction. Fears about the cost of rehab can often hinder people from seeking the treatment they need.

The cost of rehab varies from facility to facility. Some government-funded rehabs may offer services for free, while luxury rehabs famous among celebrities can cost as much as $80,000. Treatment program fees vary depending on:

  • Location
  • Type of facility (inpatient vs. outpatient rehab)
  • Treatment programs (i.e. intervention, detox, medication-assisted)
  • Number of patients in program
  • Length of treatment (i.e. 30 – 90 days, 1 year)
  • Amenities (i.e. sports facilities, horseback riding, massage)

After the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, addiction treatment is an essential health benefit that must be covered by insurance plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare (military health insurance), private insurance, and paying out-of-pocket are all options for paying for rehab. It’s important to know what your insurance covers and what you can afford when researching types of facilities and treatment programs.

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What Is the Cost of Rehab?

Addiction is a complex disorder that varies from person to person. Thus, a wide range of treatment modalities are available depending on the length and severity of an individual’s addiction, what they can afford, and where they prefer to enter treatment. All rehab programs offer some basic services; additional therapies and amenities generally increase the overall cost of rehab.

Interventions and Detox

Interventions at an addiction treatment facility can increase the comfortability of detox before an inpatient treatment program. Detox may also occur outside an intervention center for less-severe addictions or for patients prior to outpatient treatment programs. An intervention conducted under the guidance of addiction professionals usually costs between $2,000 and $10,000 (without additional expenses like airfare and accommodations). The price of an intervention generally doesn’t include the cost of the treatment program following detox.

Detox costs are commonly accrued per day and can run up to $1,000 a day (some publicly-funded options are free). Medication-assisted detox costs may be more if the facility charges for the use of medications like Benzodiazepines, Methadone, Buprenorphine, or Naltrexone. If an individual is entering an inpatient program, detox may be covered by the overall price of rehab.

Inpatient Rehab

The cost of rehab for inpatient treatment programs can vary more than any other category of addiction treatment due to the aspects affecting rehab listed above. Inpatient rehab can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $25,000 for 30-day programs; well-known, luxury rehabs can top $100,000 for 30-, 60-, and 90-day stays.

Outpatient Rehab

The length of outpatient rehab can be much longer than inpatient rehab, yet the cost is often less for addictions of mild- to moderate-severity. Outpatient rehab costs between $5,000 and $8,000 for a three-month program; some publicly-run outpatient rehab centers are free for those who qualify (though many have waitlists prior to admission to rehab). Prices may be more or less depending on the number of visits to the rehab center are required.

Aftercare and Support Groups

For the most part, aftercare for patients leaving rehab is free in the form of support groups. National support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous provide a place for patients to maintain accountability for their recovery. Some people also choose to enter some form of counseling, the cost of which varies depending on the type of therapy (most fall between $75 and $150 per session).

Paying the Cost of Rehab

For every dollar invested in addiction treatment, an individual saves about $12 in healthcare costs. Rehab is also much cheaper for the individual and the public than other alternatives of addiction, such as incarceration. For example, one year of Methadone treatment is about $4,700, while a year behind bars costs the public $24,000.

When securing funds for recovery, patients have a few options to consider.

Insurance Plans

There are a number of different types of health insurance providers as well as healthcare plans. An individual’s type of insurance depends on whether they purchased it through the Health Insurance Marketplace, an employer, or privately. Public health insurance plans like Medicaid and Medicare also provide coverage to millions. Type of insurance generally determines what kinds of treatment services or rehab centers an individual can choose from.

Early intervention is considered an essential health benefit and must be covered by health insurers in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Detox services are covered under most insurance plans. Your insurance may not cover every rehab center, or all of the services offered at particular centers. Similar to visiting a doctor’s office, some with insurance will have to pay out-of-pocket for some services/medications/amenities.


Due to the current Opioid Epidemic, many local governments have started to provide funding to public addiction treatment facilities. For the uninsured and under-insured, government-funded services range from detox to outpatient residential programs. Departments of Health and Human Services commonly provide listings of low-cost and no-cost rehabs accredited by the city. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also maintains a database of state programs.


Some will choose to pay out-of-pocket for rehab, either to conceal it from an employer or because they don’t have insurance. For those who pay out-of-pocket, some rehab centers allow patients to pay on a sliding-fee scale or a payment plan. Personal loans or credit cards are also ways to cover extra costs of rehab.

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Benefits of Rehab

For every $100 spent by the average American, $1 is spent on alcohol. A year of drinking could easily run $3,000 per person; an Opioid or Heroin addiction is even higher. Those suffering from an addiction are more likely to struggle financially due to lost wages, productivity, excessive spending on substances, and risky behaviors. Family, friends, and coworkers are also commonly affected by an individual’s addiction – in time lost, poor or strained communication, bad decision-making, et cetera.

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